Cats and Strange Litter
Cats are strange creatures that may or may not have interesting litter box habits. They are also smart, so often there’s a message behind the ‘mess’. Instead of feeling frustrated, try to interpret the ‘code’ so you can address the underlying issue, if there is an issue.
Here are a few possible reasons for strange, but common litter box habits and ways to correct some of these behaviours.
BROADCASTING THEIR BUSINESS
There are a couple of possible reasons why cats don’t cover their
poop after using their litter boxes.
Hint: The scent or texture of the litter could be putting your cat off. Systematically changing it could encourage your cat to dig and cover up.
ONE FOR YOU AND ONE FOR YOU
It’s not uncommon for cat parents to leave out two litter boxes and it’s not uncommon for cats to use the one for urine and the other for faeces. For some cats it’s just instinct. So, if you’re not offering two litter boxes, maybe you should.
STUFF ON THE SIDE
Urine and faeces on the sides of the box could be a sign that your cat’s litter box is too small for him or her. Think about it: Cats have to get into position, do their business and cover up after themselves. For that they need space.
Try introducing a larger litter box (or even a large, low storage container filled with litter) to see if it improves comfort and aim.
STUFF ON THE OUTSIDE
‘Next to it’ is a no-no when it comes to litter box use, but ask yourself: “Why is this happening?” because you have to fix it.
Clearly your cat is in the right area so there might be some sort of obstacle in the way of the target. Most of the time there could be something putting your cat off. Dirty litter is one possibility. If it’s not the litter, it could be the shape, size or type of box. Covered boxes are typically less popular than large, rectangular open-top boxes.
CLEAN MEANS ‘GO!’
Here’s a scenario: You clean your kitty’s litter box (your cat may or may not be watching you). As soon as you’re done, it gets used.
Sound familiar? Don’t get offended or angry. It’s probably just a territorial thing.
If you have more than one cat you definitely need more than one litter box. Some cats have a favourite box and will protect it while some think all the boxes are theirs. If you have two cats, offer three litter pans; if you have three cats, offer four. Try to put out more litter boxes and spread them out: one cat can’t guard all of them at once.